Saturday, March 8, 2014

The 2014 Hockey Hair Team

It's time for the 2014 Hockey Hair Team from The Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament!

The theme this year is Touch the Flow.

Very impressed with the amount of testosterone which allows some of them to grow facial hair that would make Sasquatch jealous.


For those of you new to The Hockey Hair Team, here are some from past seasons.

First, the 2013 edition.


 Now 2012 which featured a team award for the Duluth Marshall Hilltoppers. Amazing.


And finally, the 2011 edition of the Hockey Hair Team from the Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament.

Friday, March 7, 2014

1954-55 Detroit Red Wings Terry Sawchuk Jersey

Goaltender Terry Sawchuk idolized his older brother Mitch, who wanted to be a goaltender. Sadly, at just seventeen years of age, Mitch died of a heart attack. After inheriting his older brother's goalie equipment Terry began playing hockey in a local league and began to excel to the point that at age 14 a local scout for the Detroit Red Wings had Sawchuk work out for him and later signed Terry to an amateur contract to play for their junior team.

Sawchuk turned pro with Detroit in 1950, filling in for the injured Harry Lumley, who would return in time to lead the Red Wings to the 1950 Stanley Cup championship. Despite winning the championship, Lumley was traded to the Chicago Black Hawks, promoting Sawchuk to the Red Wings goaltending job in time for the 1950-51 season despite having only seven games of NHL experience.


The Red Wings faith in Sawchuk would immediately pay off, as he would record a record of 44 wins, 13 losses and 13 ties with 11 shutouts and a goals against average (GAA) of 1.99 in his first full season, earning the Calder Trophy.

The 1951-52 season saw even more success, as he would again win 44 games, post 12 more shutouts and lower his goals against to 1.90, which would earn him his first Vezina Trophy. The Red Wings would advance through the playoffs and capture the Stanley Cup as NHL champions that season.

Terry Sawchuk and Red Wings captain Sid Abel celebrate winning the 1952 Stanley Cup

Sawchuk would earn another Vezina Trophy in 1953, a second Stanley Cup championship in 1954, both the Vezina and another Stanley Cup in 1955, giving him three of each in just his first five seasons in the league.

Feeling they had a new goaltender on the rise in Glenn Hall, the Red Wings would trade Sawchuk to the Boston Bruins prior to the 1955-56 season. He would record just 22 wins for Boston that season after having had a minimum of 32 during his time in Detroit. In his second season in Boston, Sawchuk was diagnosed with mononucleosis, but returned to the team just two weeks later. His play was poor, as he was weak from the illness and he announced his retirement from hockey early in 1957.

With Hall having fallen out of favor with the Red Wings, they traded Johnny Bucyk to Boston to reacquire Sawchuk for the start of the following season. He would play seven seasons for the Red Wings during his second stint in Detroit. While in Detroit, he would begin wearing a mask for the first time during the 1962-63 season after accumulating over 350 stitches up to that point in his career.


In 1964, Sawchuk would set the NHL record for the most career games by a goaltender, when he appeared in his 804th game, a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins.

He would post between 22 and 29 wins in five of those seven seasons and add 23 more shutouts to his career total, eventually passing legendary Montreal Canadiens goaltender George Hainsworth's career total of 94 set in 1936, a record that had stood for 28 years.

The Red Wings, feeling Sawchuk was expendable due to the promising Roger Crozier, left Sawchuk exposed in the waiver draft and was claimed by the Toronto Maple Leafs, where the 35-year-old would share goaltending duties with forty-year-old Johnny Bower.


The pair responded by winning the Vezina Trophy in 1965, Sawchuk's fourth, perhaps in part to their decreased workload keeping them fresher on the days they did play, as they both went from 50+ games played down to the mid-30's that year. They were the first pair to share the Vezina, then awarded statistically to the goaltender for the team that gave up the least number of goals and not a vote for who is considered the best goaltender, as it is today.


Two seasons later, in 1966-67, the Maple Leafs would capture the most recent Stanley Cup in their history, and the fourth and final one of Sawchuk's career.

Once more a championship season for Sawchuk was rewarded by being let go by his club, as he was left unprotected in the 1967 expansion draft, and was claimed by the Los Angeles Kings. He would play 36 games for the Kings in 1967-68, adding two more shutouts to his total. The Kings would trade Sawchuk to the Red Wings for 1968-69 and he would play the final season of his career with the New York Rangers, where he played in eight games and recorded the final shutout of his career, giving him a final total of 103.

His final NHL totals were 971 games over 21 seasons, an NHL record 447 wins, 330 losses and 172 ties (also an NHL record), with 23% of his wins coming via shutouts. In addition to his 103 regular season shutouts, he would also record 12 more in the playoffs.

Sawchuk would die at age 40 in 1970 just after the conclusion of the hockey season due to a pulmonary embolism as the result of an accidental injury suffered in a conflict with his Rangers teammate and housemate Ron Stewart.

In 1971 he was named the winner of the Lester Patrick Award and inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame and his #1 was retired by the Red Wings on this date in 1994.

Sawchuk's record for most wins lasted for 30 years until being broken by Patrick Roy on October 18, 2000 and his 103 shutouts stood as the record for 39 years until being surpassed by Martin Brodeur in December of 2009.

For further reading, several books have been written on the tumultuous life of Terry Sawchuk.

Today's featured jersey is a 1961-62 Detroit Red Wings Terry Sawchuk jerseyThe Red Wings jersey is a true classic in the NHL and has remained essentially unchanged since it was introduced back in 1932 when the club changed their name from the Falcons, as they had been known since 1930. The original Detroit red sweaters used red numbers trimmed in white from 1932-33 until a change to single color white numbers in 1937-38, with the next change to the red jerseys being the addition of names in 1977-78.

This jersey was worn by Sawchuk during the 1954-55 season when Detroit won the third of Sawchuk's four Stanley Cups, and is an early example of a Red Wings jersey as evidenced by it's lack of sleeve numbers.

In addition to winning the Stanley Cup in 1955, Sawchuk would also play in the NHL All-Star Game and win his second Vezina Trophy that year.


Detroit Red Wings 1954-55 jersey photo DetroitRedWings1954-55jersey.jpg

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1961-62 Detroit Red Wings Terry Sawchuk jerseyFrom 1932 to 1934, the Red Wings only wore red sweaters for both home and road games, with the white jersey not being introduced until the 1934-35 season. The next real change of note was the addition of red sleeves decorated with sleeve numbers for the first time in 1961, as seen on today's bonus jersey. Names would not appear until 1973 with only changes to fonts for the name and numbers since.

Detroit Red Wings 1957-58 jersey photo DetroitRedWings1957-58jersey.jpg
photos courtesy of Classic Auctions

This Legends of Hockey profile covers Sawchuk's career from the time of his youth through the end of his career and premature death at age 40.



Thursday, March 6, 2014

The 2014 Minnesota State High School Boy's Hockey Tournament

The 2014 Minnesota State Boys' Hockey Tournament continues today with the start of the Class AA tournament following yesterday's Class A Quarterfinals. Class AA consists of the top 64 schools by enrollment in the state and Class A is for the remaining schools. In terms of enrollment, Class AA is roughly for schools with 1,200 students or more, with the largest of the Twin Cities suburban schools reaching enrollments of 3,000.

Often compared to the Indiana State Boys' Basketball Tournament or the Texas and Florida State Football Tournaments as the most important nationally for their sport, the Minnesota State Boys' Hockey Tournament is a four day festival of excitement, color and sound as the parents, relatives, fans, cheerleaders (on skates!) and bands from 16 schools all travel to the state capital of St. Paul to cheer on their teams as they compete on the ice at the home of the Minnesota Wild, the Xcel Energy Center, in front of sellout crowds of up to 19,500 fans!


Of note this year, KSTC has brought in no less a talent than nationally known broadcaster Gary Thorne to handle the television play-by-play duties along side Minnesota hockey legend, Lou Nanne's expert commentary, with this year being Nanne's 50th year working the state high school tournament.

The tournament began back in 1945 in St. Paul. After a stop at the home of the Minnesota North Stars, the Met Center, for eight years in the 1970's, the tournament returned to St. Paul at the new St. Paul Civic Center, known for it's clear boards, which you can see below in one of today's videos. For nearly 50 years the tournament was played as an eight team, single class tournament, which lent itself to classic David versus Goliath matchups, as the smaller schools from the northern part of the state travelled down to the big city, taking on some of the largest schools attendance-wise in the state.

Somewhat controversially, the tournament split into two classes in 1994, based on enrollment. While schools in the smaller enrollment Class A have the option to move up and play in Class AA, the tournament lost something special in the process. Still, it is the largest state sports tournament in the United States in terms of attendance and viewership, as all the championship bracket games are broadcast on local television.

Despite the arena having hosted NHL playoff conference finals, the 2004 NHL All-Star Game and the NCAA Frozen Four twice, with the nearby University of Minnesota winning the title in 2002 and the in-state University of Minnesota Duluth taking home the national championship in 2011, on March 9, 2012 19,893 fans attended the semifinals of the state tournament, setting a new record for the largest crowed to ever attend a hockey game in Minnesota, breaking the record of 19,559, which was also a session of the State High School Tournament in 2008.

Many NHL veterans have participated in the tournament, including Neal Broten, Phil Housley, Reed Larson, John Mayasich, Mike Antonovich, Henry Boucha, Mark Parrish and current NHLers T. J. Oshie of the St. Louis Blues and Blake Wheeler of the Winnipeg Jets. Of the 19 Minnesota players taken in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft between 2000 and 2009, 13 of them played in the state tournament.

Housley Packers, Housley Packers
Phil Housely of the South St. Paul Packers

Many rivalries, dynasties, villains and favorites have emerged over the years, with small schools from up north such as Eveleth, Greenway of Coleraine, International Falls and Warroad always being sentimental favorites. Roseau, in particular, has been one of the only small schools (with an enrollment of just 374 in 2012, compared to 18 Twin Cities schools between 2000-3100 students, and well below the 1150 cut-off point for Class AA status) to move up to AA and succeed with championships in 1999 and 2007.

Other schools have had their runs, with Eveleth in the late 40's/early 50's, International Falls in the 1960's, Bloomington Jefferson dominating in the early 1990's, but none more so than Edina, with ten championships, the first coming in 1969, four in the 1970's, three in the 1980's, one in 1997 and most recently in 2010. All those titles, as well as seemingly annual tournament appearances, put the Hornets at the top of the list of "teams you love to hate", as teams from the tony Minneapolis suburb Edina are considered to be "the rich kids", even sporting green and gold jerseys in the color of money, earning the Hornets the derisive nickname the "Cake Eaters", which they annoyingly wholly embrace!

Edina Champions, Edina Champions
Edina celebrating one of their 11 state titles

Aside from Edina, schools on the outs with the general public are the private schools, such as The Academy of Holy Angels (champions in 2002 and 2005), Hill-Murray (1983, 1991, 2008) and most recently St. Thomas Academy (who played in the smaller Class A until moving up this year and who have won championships in 2006, 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2013). Those private schools are considered to have the advantage of being able to recruit the best players to attend their schools rather than take what comes their way in the case of the traditional public schools who draw students from their local geographic region. This "class war" is an age old argument between the public and private schools and is only magnified with the arrival of a smaller school from the north, such as when tiny Roseau makes an appearance in St. Paul, and is one of the driving forces behind the ongoing popularity of the tournament, as every great drama must have it's villain.

Since it's inception Class A has been a battle between the smaller private schools, with Benilde-St. Margaret's, St. Thomas Academy, Totino-Grace and Breck winning nine championships and the smaller schools from the northern part of the state now given a chance to compete for a state title, with classic schools like Eveleth and International Falls able to win their first titles since the early 1970's and first time winners like Hermantown, Red Wing and four time Class A champion Warroad flying the flag for the public schools who have captured eight titles since the two class system was introduced.


The 2012 Class AA tournament was won by Benilde-St. Margaret's, whose players all wore large patches in support of paralyzed teammate Jack Jablonski. Tied at 2-2 with less than a minute remaining in the semifinals, the Red Knights scored the game winning goal with less than 24 seconds remaining. They then stormed to the championship when Grant Besse set twitter ablaze with his five goal performance, three of which were shorthanded(!), as Benilde-St. Margaret's steamrolled Hill-Murray 5-1 to win an emotional championship with all thoughts on Jablonski, who was in attendance to enjoy the storybook victory that will be talked about for years to come.

Benilde, Benilde
Benilde-St. Margaret's players wearing #13 patches in support of Jack Jablonski

This year's tournament began Wednesday with the quarterfinals in Class A with #2 seeded Hermantown from up north outside of Duluth, taking on undefeated Luverne from the far southwest corner of the state, #3 seed New Prague from south central Minnesota against Chisago Lakes from northeast of the Twin Ciites, #1 seed East Grand Forks from northwest area of the state facing Orono from just west of the metro area and #4 seeded private school St. Cloud Cathedral from the center of the state facing another private school, Totino-Grace located in the northern Minneapolis suburbs.

Hermantown, runner's up to St. Thomas the last three years, won 6-3 to end Luverne's unbeaten run on their first trip to the state tournament and will face New Prague who won 5-2 in their state tournament debut. Hermantown, East Grand Forks won5-1 over Orono after a fast start and will face a tough test when they meet private school St. Cloud Cathedral, who came back from a two goal deficit to win an overtime thriller. Despite most of the attention being focused on the Class AA schools, Hermantown's quest to win their second championship after battling against private school St. Thomas Academy the last three years is not to be overlooked and could play out the same way yet again if Cathedral gets by favorites East Grand Forks.

Class AA begins today and sees #2 seed Lakeville North from the south metro area take on tiny Roseau from up near the Canadian border in a true David vs. Goliath matchup that makes the Minnesota State High School Tournament so special, as Lakeville North has an enrollment roughly five times that of Class A eligible Roseau. #3 seed Eden Prairie from the southwest metro suburbs, champions in 2009 and 2011, taking on Centennial from the northern metro suburbs. #1 ranked Edina, coached by former Minnesota North Stars captain Curt Giles, is back to defend their championship and will face Stillwater, from west of the Twin Cities along the Mississippi River with #4 Duluth East facing #5 Eagan, a southern metro suburb. With the large number of Twin Cities schools taking part, one can see why little Roseau will be a fan favorite for those without a rooting interest in one of the other seven teams.

It's a huge deal to make it "to state" in Minnesota. This past week thousands of fans attended the eight section finals just for right to go to the state tournament, which for the kids involved means staying in a hotel in the big city, playing in an NHL arena with your buddies that you grew up with in front of all your family and friends and having your games televised live throughout the state. Many players have gone on to win national championships in college and even in the NHL, and over and over again when asked for their greatest hockey memory, the answer frequently comes back "playing in the state tournament in high school." Not necessarily winning it, just playing in it.

Once, a hockey writer quoted former three time national champion University of Minnesota and 1980 "Miracle on Ice" USA Olympic coach Herb Brooks as saying that winning a state championship with St. Paul Johnson in 1955 was one of the best moments in his career. Brooks called the writer to inform him that he had been misquoted. He said it was the best moment.

Herb Brooks Johnson 1955, Herb Brooks Johnson 1955
Herb Brooks, back row far right, celebrating with his St. Paul Johnson
teammates after winning the state championship in 1955

Hawks, Cardinals, Trojans, Wildcats, Green Wave, Spartans, Crusaders, Eagles, Panthers, Rams, another Eagles, Cougars, Hornets, Ponies, Greyhounds and Wildcats again.

16 teams, 4 days, 120,000 fans, some seriously bad hair, 16 bands, 2 champions. There's nothing else quite like it.

Today's featured jersey is a 2005 Warroad Warriors Zach Larson jersey. This jersey was worn by players at Warroad High School from 2001 to half way through the 2008-09 season. Warroad won the Class A championship in 2003 and 2005 with jerseys from this set, but being a #13 jersey, there were several seasons in which no one chose the unlucky sweater number 13.

Larson defied superstition and wore this jersey during their undefeated (29-0-2) championship season of 2005, and was a teammate to current St. Louis Blues and recent United States Olympic standout Oshie, who is the all-time leading scorer in Warroad history with 104 goals and 137 assists for 241 points in just 93 games. Oshie led the entire state of Minnesota in 2004-05 with 37 goals and 100 points.

Warroad Warrior T. J. Oshie

Other notable hockey players to come from Warroad include United States Olympian Gigi Marvin, current New York Islander Brock NelsonDave Christian, a member of the Miracle on Ice 1980 gold medal winning USA Olympic team, who would go on to play 15 NHL seasons with Winnipeg, Washington, Boston, St. Louis and Chicago, Dave's father Bill Christian and uncle, the late Roger Christian, who won gold medals in the 1960 Olympics, and Boucha, a 1972 silver Olympic medalist who would play for Detroit, Minnesota, Kansas City and Colorado of the NHL. During it's history, no United States Olympic hockey team has ever won a medal without having a player on the team from tiny Warroad!

This is a classic looking jersey in the style and colors of the old Boston Bruins jerseys of the mid 70's to the mid 90's and is one of the few remaining schools to use a Native American nickname and imagery, while others such as Grand Rapids, Minneapolis Southwest and Burnsville all discontinued their use. The use of the Warriors name by Warroad High School is approved by the local Ojibwe band of Chippewa Indians who designed the logo used on the Warriors jerseys.

Due to the multiple years of service the jerseys often see, names on the back are seldom, if ever, worn on high school jerseys.

Warroad Warriors 2001-2008 jersey photo WarroadWarriors2001-2008F.jpg
Warroad Warriors 2001-2008 jersey photo WarroadWarriors2001-2008B.jpg

Let's se if we can possibly capture the event, spirit and emotion of the tournament with today's video selections, begining with a look at last years excitement.








Here's some classic footage from 1984 with St. Paul Johnson defeating Hill-Murray showing the unique clear boards from the St. Paul Civic Center and everyone wearing Cooperalls!


Check out the explosion of joy as Hill-Murray captures the state title in 2008 over Edina.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

1990-91 Edmonton Oilers Anatoli Semenov Jersey

Born on this date in 1962, Anatoli Anatollevich Semenov was born during a generation of Soviet players who would live to have the freedom to play in North America that players born just ten years earlier would not enjoy, such as the great goaltender Vladislav Tretiak.

Semenov began is top level career with Dynamo Moscow of the Soviet Championship League back in the 1979-80, the first of 11 seasons as Dynamo's top player, which included leading them in scoring three times and being named an All-Star in 1985. His most notable seasons came in 1982-83 with 22 goals in 44 games, 1986-87 with 44 points in 40 games and his final season with Dynamo in 1989-90 when they finally wrestled the championship away from Central Red Army in 1990 following 13 straight titles for CSKA and the club's first since 1954.

Semenov Dynamo, Semenov Dynamo
Dynamo Moscow team captain Semenov

With the political situation of the Soviet Union in flux, Semenov was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the 1989 Entry Draft in hopes of him eventually being allowed to leave for the NHL in the not too distant future, as the veteran center was 27 years old at the time of his being drafted.

He was soon able to join the Oilers, when after Dynamo secured the 1990 championship, he arrived in Canada in time to play two playoff games with the Oilers, who would go on to win the Stanley Cup at the conclusion of the playoffs, although he did not meet the requirements to have his name engraved on the cup.

His first full season with Edmonton, Semenov saw action in 57 games and scored 31 points. Additionally, he would score another 10 points in a dozen playoff games. His offensive production took a sizable step forward as his comfort level with life and hockey in North America rose during the 1991-92 season, when in 59 games Semenov scored 20 goals and 42 points.

Semenov Oilers, Semenov Oilers

Not having established himself as a regular in the Oilers lineup, he was left unprotected in the 1992 Expansion Draft, which made him available to be selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning. His stay in Florida was short-lived, as, after just 13 games, he was dealt to the Vancouver Canucks who were looking for another Russian to play alongside Pavel Bure. The combination worked well, particularly in the first half of the season, which led to Semenov setting a career high with 49 points for the year.

Semenov Canucks, Semenov Canucks

After tailing off during the second half of the season, he was once again left unprotected for another expansion draft, this time being chosen by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim for their inaugural season of 1992-93. Once again he was hard pressed to play every night, and finished the season with just 49 games and 30 points.

Semenov Ducks, Semenov Ducks

He began the 1994-95 season with the Mighty Ducks, but after just 15 games, he was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers, with whom he played 26 games in the regular season and 15 in the postseason.

Semenov Flyers, Semenov Flyers

The 1995-96 season was a mirror image of the previous one, as he began the season with the Flyers, who traded him back to the Mighty Ducks. His final NHL season saw him sign with the Buffalo Sabres, with whom he played 25 games before retiring after 362 games, 68 goals and 126 assists for 194 points.

Prior to coming to the NHL Semenov had an accomplished international career, playing for the Soviet Union National Team during the European Junior Championships in 1980, the World Junior Championships in 1981 and 1982, where he scored 5 goals and 13 points in 7 games, the 1984 and 1987 Canada Cup tournaments, Rendezvous '87 against the NHL All-Stars, the 1987 World Championships, the 1988 Olympics and joined Dynamo Riga for their Super Series tour of North America in 1988-89 in addition to his participation with Dynamo Moscow in the Super Series in 1985-86 and 1989-90, all of which made him well known to NHL clubs prior to his being drafted by the Oilers.

Semenov Riga, Semenov Riga
Semenov while with Dynamo Riga during the Super Series '89

Today's featured jersey is a 1989-90 Edmonton Oilers Anatoli Smeneov jersey, which unusually features a captain's "K". The story behind the Cyrillic "K" being used to designate the team's captain on Semenov's jersey in place of the standard Latin "C" was that the Oilers were scheduled to play a game versus the Soviet Central Red Army team as part of the 1990-91 Super Series against one of the touring Soviet teams on January 6, 1991 and regular Oilers team captain Mark Messier opted to sit out the exhibition contest in order to rest his sore leg, leaving the Oilers without a captain.

The team then held a vote and elected Semenov their honorary captain for the day against many of his former national team teammates. It was at this point that the Oilers equipment staff, possessing a sense of history and fun, made a "K" for Semenov's jersey to be worn that night and glued it onto his jersey, creating one of the most unique jerseys in the long history of the NHL.

Semenov Oilers K, Semenov Oilers K

The jersey itself is the standard Oilers jersey of the era, first worn when they became members of the NHL in 1979 and used through the 1995-96 season with only a few minor variations, mainly in the fonts used for the numbers the first two seasons, and it's best known for being the jersey worn for five Stanley Cup championships.

Edmonton Oilers 90-91 jersey, Edmonton Oilers 90-91 jersey
Edmonton Oilers 90-91 jersey, Edmonton Oilers 90-91 jersey

Here is Semenov scoring against the NHL All-Stars during Rendez Vous '87 for the Soviet Union and paying the price with his body after being tripped.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

1998-99 Toronto Maple Leafs Curtis Joseph Jersey

On this date in 1999, the Toronto Maple Leafs set an NHL record for the fewest shots taken in a winning effort with just nine shots on goal in a 4-0 win over the St. Louis Blues.

The Maple Leafs registered three shots on goal during the first period to ten for St. Louis, but ended the period leading 1-0 on a breakaway goal by Steve Sullivan with an assist from Mike Johnson at 11:03. Little did St. Louis know there ten shots in the first period would be more than the Maple Leafs would register for the whole game.

 photo SullivanMapleLeafs.jpg
Steve Sullivan

The second period went even better for Toronto, when Mats Sundin scored on their first shot when he beat St. Louis starting goaltender Brent Johnson with a wrist shot off Johnson's glove from the right faceoff circle.

Sundin Maple Leafs photo SundinMapleLeafs.jpg
Mats Sundin

Toronto's second shot of the period also found the back of the net when Lonny Bohonos, who had just been called up from the minors earlier that same day, fired a slapshot from the right circle, beating Johnson between his pads at 5:58, ending Johnson's day after giving up three goals on just five shots.

Bohonos Maple Leafs photo BohonosStJohns.jpg
Lonny Bohonos was called up from the St. John's Maple Leafs

With Jim Carey now in goal, the Blues fared no better as Gary Valk scored for Toronto on a 2-on-1 with Igor Korolev on the first shot Carey would face, giving Toronto four goals on six shots. Carey would save the only other shot he saw in the second period, as St. Louis again outshot Toronto, this time eight to four for the period, although Toronto scored on three of the four.

Valk Maple Leafs photo ValkMapleLeafs.jpg
Gary Valk

Carey was able to withstand the two shot barrage he faced in the third period, but the Blues failed to score on any of the ten shots they threw at Toronto netminder Curtis Joseph, who made 28 saves while blanking his former club, the 22nd shutout of his career.

Joseph Maple Leafs photo JosephMapleLeafs.jpg
Curtis Joseph 

Of the nine Toronto shots, three were credited to Sundin, with no one else having more than one.

When asked about the low number of shots, Sullivan responded "As Glen Healy told me once, 'Good teams look at the scoreboard and not the shot clock.' "

Today's featured jersey is a 1998-99 Toronto Maple Leafs Curtis Joseph jersey. While the Maple Leafs began wearing this jersey style in 1992-93, it was tweaked in 1997-98 with an odd, overly thick and quite rounded new font for the numbers and a new font for the names as well. This specification would remain in use through 1999-00 until the secondary shoulder logo was changed to a "TML" monogram and the number font reverted to a more traditional block font, only now with the addition of silver trim for the first time, while the font for the names remained unchanged, making for an odd pairing with the new number font.

This jersey also features the Memories and Dreams patch worn that year to commemorate the final season of Maple Leaf Gardens, the Maple Leafs long time home since 1931.

Toronto Maple Leafs 1998-99 jersey photo TorontoMapleLeafs1998-99jersey.jpg
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Today's first video is a look back at Maple Leaf Gardens.


Our next video is Hamada Takasi playing the Maple Leaf Rag on his banjo.

Monday, March 3, 2014

1927-28 Toronto Maple Leafs Joe Ironstone Jersey

Born in Montreal in 1898, Joe Ironstone grew up in northern Ontario and began his playing career with the Sudbury Wolves of the Northern Ontario Hockey League (NOHA) in the 1921-22 season, winning 3 and losing 2 in the 6 games in which he played before moving to the Sudbury Legionnaires, where he won 3 out of 3 starts during the regular season prior to going 0-1-1 in a pair of playoff games.

Back with the Wolves for 1922-23, Ironstone went 4-4 in eight games. Records show he was with the Wolves again in 1923-24, but no statistics are shown across multiple sources, perhaps indicating he did not play, perhaps due to an injury. He was signed by the powerful Ottawa Senators of the NHL in 1924-25, but saw no playing time as a backup to Alex Connell, who played in all 30 of the Senators games.

Joe Ironstone Senators photo JoeIronstoneSenators.png
Joe Ironstone

Ironstone became a member of the New York Americans during their debut season and was again a backup goaltender, this time to Jake Forbes. While Forbes played in all 36 of the games on the Americans schedule, Ironstone was able to make his NHL debut with two periods of relief work.

Having played as little as 40 minutes over the previous three seasons, Ironstone was likely more than happy to find himself a member of the Niagara Falls Cataracts (with "cataract" meaning "a large or high waterfall") where he played 23 games in the Canadian Professional Hockey League (CPHL).

He had a busy season in 1927-28, with 14 more games with Niagara Falls. After going 3-6-5, Ironstone he became a member of the Toronto Ravinas of the same league when he was sold by the Cataracts. In 26 games he posted a winning record of 13-10-3 to help the Ravinas get into the playoffs.

It was also during this season that Ironstone played in one game for the Toronto Maple Leafs against the Boston Bruins on this date in 1928 as an injury replacement for goaltender John Roach. Ironstone played well and held the Bruins off the scoreboard for the entire game, earning his only NHL shutout. He was denied the win however, when Boston's Hal Winkler matched him save for save for his 12th shutout of the season as the game ended in a scoreless tie.

The next club to employ Ironstone's services was the London Panthers, for whom he played a career high 42 games on his way to a 16-22-3 record. The 1929-30 season saw Ironstone split time between London, who switched from the CPHL to the International Hockey League (IHL). After 10 games, he was back in the CPHL with the Kitchener Flying Dutchmen, with whom he won 7 and lost 8 games.

Seemingly always on the move, the 1930-31 season was divided between the Marquette Iron Rangers of the Northern Michigan Hockey League, the Guelph Maple Leafs of the Ontario Professional Hockey League and the Syracuse Stars of the IHL.

He did not play the next two seasons, but returned to the ice with the Sudbury Legion once again for the 1933-34 and 1934-35 seasons. His final season in hockey was spent with the Falconbridge Falcons of the NOHA, with whom he completed for the Allan Cup, and also make one appearance for his original team, the Sudbury Wolves, bringing his career full circle.

Ironstone's career NHL stats are the unusual line of 0-0-1 with 1 shutout. He allowed 3 goals during his relief effort in two periods in New York, and combined with his shutout in Toronto, his final goals against average stands at 1.64.

Today's featured jersey is a 1927-28 Toronto Maple Leafs Joe Ironstone jersey from his only appearance for the Maple Leafs, which resulted in a scoreless tie.

The Toronto St. Patricks had only been renamed the Maple Leafs during the previous season when the club was purchased by Conn Smythe. At the time, they changed from the St. Pats green sweaters with a white band across the chest to a plain white sweater with a green maple leaf logo on the chest. For the 1927-28 season, the club changed colors back to blue and white, as they wore during their first two seasons while they were known as the Toronto Arenas.

The simple, stripeless white sweater, worn for games against the New York Rangers, now had a blue maple leaf crest on the front. Their primary jersey was now an attractive blue jersey with multiple arm and body stripes done in the art deco style of the times.

This exact style would remain in use three seasons until a another white stripe was added across the top of the shoulders. That version of this jersey would be used through the 1933-34 season when a reversal of course was taken and the stripes were reduced to a simple pair of narrow white stripes on the arms and waist and a new, simpler leaf crest was introduced, which is nearly identical to the one the Maple Leafs now use today, 75 years later.

Toronto Maple Leafs 27-28 jersey

Sunday, March 2, 2014

2014 Sochi Olympic Female Hockey Player of the Day

For those of you who do not follow us on Twitter @3rdStringGoalie, during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, we posted a Female Hockey Player of the Day during the Games, featuring players from each of the eight teams in the women's tournament.

For those of you who missed out, or even for those of you who do follow us on Twitter, we have collected each of the athletes we featured during the Olympics here in one post for your convenience.

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1 Anna Prugova Russia

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2 Meeri Raisanen Finland

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3 Gigi Marvin USA

4 Katrin Nabholz Swiss photo 4katrin_nabholz_SwissD.jpg
4 Katrin Nabholz Swiss photo 4BKatrinNabholzSwissD.png
4 Katrin Nabholz Switzerland

5 Yurie Adachi photo 5YurieAdachi.jpg
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5 Yurie Adachi Japan

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6 Jenni Asserholt Sweden

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7 Meaghan Mikkelson Canada

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8 Amanda Kessel USA photo 8AmandaKesselUSAF.jpg
8 Amanda Kessel USA

9 Angelina Goncharenko Russia photo 9Angelina-Goncharenko-RUSSIAD.jpg
9 Angelina Goncharenko Russia

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10 Shannon Szabados Canada

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11 Kerstin Spielberger Germany

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12 Florence Schelling Switzerland

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13 Annina Rajahuhta Finland

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14 Tanja Eisenschmid Germany

 photo 15HilaryKnightUSA.jpg
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15 Hilary Knight USA

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16 Hayley Wickenheiser Canada
 

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